Tuesday, June 2, 2009
I'm still here!
It has been a while because Austria had a major holiday yesterday (Monday) and I cannot get internet access on the weekend. I had quite an amazing weekend though, here are a few things that happened.
I spent one lovely morning walking around St. Stephens Cathedral with Tate (my prof) pointing out nice little cafes that we should eat at. We had a coffee at one of them and had a wonderful time reading, taking pictures of Viennese people, and drawing.
Our host family was out of town this weekend visiting their country home, but their son Oggie (sp?) took over the house and made it his party abode. He's 27, so it's no juvenile rule-breaking. Suffice it to say that Europeans have much looser privacy standards about sex with others around. A cliche thought, I know, but try to imagine eating breakfast with a soundtrack composed of mattress noises, playful giggles, and exhales. Viva la Vienna!
Oggie took James and I out later that night and I had the most fun I've had thus far. Talking about film with his friends was a lot of fun and alcohol really washes away any language barrier.
Yesterday was a magnificent day. Our class met Tate's best friend and Viennese designer/architect Gregor Eichinger. We sat with him in a wine shop he designed 15 years ago and picked his brain while drinking grüner veltliner. Awesome.
Afterwards, while most of our classmates went to continue their wine buzz (really and truly, 65% of the class beat their normal tolerance to a miserable pulp) James, Andrew (my other roommate), and a couple others went to a bar for A beer in the 8th district of Vienna. We were sitting and enjoying the atmosphere when James pulled out a brochure from a film museum. He flipped through it and then suddenly pulled out his German-English dictionary. 5 minutes of grueling translation passed and then James realized that Philip Seymour Hoffman was attending the Viennese premier of Synecdoche, New York (probably my favorite film last year)! We froze in deliberation. We chugged our beers and then rushed back to the first district to try and see him. We got to the film museum out of breath and sweaty, but right as the film was ending. I went to use the bathroom and I was looking for "Herren" to denote the Men's bathroom. A husky figure was in the hall ambling in no particular direction. I thought it was another drunk Viennese. I look up and a bolt runs through my stomach. Philip. Seymour. Hoffman. !!! My future self in the flesh. I went out to tell the others, but I was speechless. They opened the theater doors to the press and we rushed in unnoticed. First row, less than 10 feet away. My friend sketched Phil while he answered questions thoroughly and thoughtfully, and then had him sign his portrait. I wanted to invite him for a beer so badly, but he was travelling with his wife and probably wrecked from jetlag. Still, one of the coolest happenstance moments ever.
This morning we recounted the whole thing over a breakfast of pastry, toast (which isn't just regular toast, but actually toast with ham, cheese, and butter), yogurt, OJ, tea, and a selection of meats and cheeses. I love this city.
More later but plenty for now,